The Indian government has maintained a not-supporting-bitcoin attitude for months now and despite this the cryptocurrency has found a strong following in world’s largest democracy.
In a new development pertaining to bitcoin in the country, the country’s Supreme Court has asked the central government to undertake the task of initiating a process through which it will regulate bitcoin. Three justices of the country’s top court have issued notices to the Finance, Law and Justice and Information Technology ministries asking them to answer to a petition that seeks to obtain a clarity on country’s stand on bitcoin and its legality.
The notices have also been issued to country’s central bank (Reserve Bank of India) and market regulator (Securities and Exchange Board of India).
The petition that seeks to get clarity on regulatory implications of bitcoin use has already been admitted by the Supreme Court.
Currently bitcoin doesn’t hold any status of legality – legal or illegal – as a method of payment or a financial instrument in India. RBI continues to maintain its stance that they haven’t licensed or authorized any companies dealing with bitcoin and that those who are using bitcoin – investors and adopters alike – would be doing so at their own risk.
While the government and the central bank haven’t been clarifying on the legality aspects of bitcoin, the country’s bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges have come together and setup a self-regulatory body earlier this year. Since then, Indian authorities established an inter-disciplinary ‘Virtual Currency Committee’ to study and develop frameworks for cryptocurrencies in India.
Previously the country’s top court had asked the central government to keep and eye on bitcoin transactions in a bid to ensure bitcoin wasn’t being used for money laundering or for terror financing.